Lampard calls for ‘fair’ treatment for tired Chelsea

LONDON (AFP) – Frank Lampard has called on the Premier League to give Chelsea a fair start to next season, saying the September 12 launch date is “too early” for his players.

The Blues lost last Saturday’s FA Cup final 2-1 to London rivals Arsenal but are still not finished with the current campaign.

Lampard’s side take on Bayern Munich on Saturday in the rescheduled second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie, trailing 3-0 from the first leg.

Even if they exit the competition, Chelsea will have just 35 days before the new season is due to begin.

It is understood that when Premier League clubs agreed a September 12 start date, it was also clear there would need to be at least a 30-day break for Chelsea and any of the other teams playing in the end-of-season European competitions.

“Even in a worst-case scenario, we don’t go through against Bayern, the 12th feels too early for me for the players to start playing again,” said the Chelsea boss.

“The players need a break. That is why we have pulled two hamstrings and had players pull out of the game before this.”

Lampard implored the Premier League to make sure clubs start the next season with a level playing field.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard. PHOTO: AFP